Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to BooksLIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Books LIVE


Listen to five short stories by Nadine Gordimer (including Loot read by the author) via @openculture:

Melanie Verwoerd's Our Madiba Launched with Desmond Tutu in Cape Town

Melanie Verwoerd

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu joined Melanie Verwoerd for the launch of Our Madiba: Stories and Reflections from those who met Nelson Mandela at the Brundyn + Gonsalves Gallery in Cape Town recently.

The cameramen gathered early on a chilly Cape evening, setting up their tripods and bright television lights, hoisting heavy cameras and running cables through the venue, long before Tutu arrived.

The Archbishop was welcomed by Surita Joubert, who expressed her enormous gratitude that he had taken time out to celebrate the launch of Verwoerd’s book.

Our Madiba, which Tutu also contributed to, includes the narratives of the humblest of folk who attended to Mandela’s daily needs, as well as the famous. Politicians and literati, sportsmen and rock stars make up the “big names” which include, among others, Angelique Kidjo, Francois Pienaar, John Carlin, Richard Attenborough, Ahmed Kathrada, Adam Small, Zapiro and Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout from Darling.

Desmond Tutu and Melanie VerwoerdOur MadibaVerwoerd was introduced as coming from “an unlikely background”. As an Afrikaaner who married the grandson of Hendrik Verwoerd, her life has taken many interesting turns. She was the youngest female MP ever to serve in South African parliament under Mandela and then went to Ireland as South Africa’s ambassador. She described how the many occasions of meeting Mandela profoundly influenced her and altered the course of her life.

In her travels around the world, people shared their stories of Madiba with her, inevitably volunteering the same information. Their lives, too, had been profoundly altered by the experience of knowing Mandela.

The “Arch” reflected on the sheer craziness and improbability of South Africa. He specifically recalled “a very smart man who said some extraordinary things: like ‘what is the point of teaching blacks mathematics and science? We should teach them enough English or Afrikaans so that they can take instructions from their white madams or baases.’ He also stopped school feeding for blacks who needed it desperately. His explanation was that as we can’t feed all of them we shouldn’t feed any of them.”

Referring to the way Verwoerd dressed up apartheid as “good neighbourliness”, Tutu burst into his trademark raucous laughter, as he remarked on the irony of his grandson’s wife serving under a black president.

It was an evening of tremendous celebration. All who gathered were inspired by the cleric’s reminder of the uniqueness of each individual, God’s “soft spot” for South Africans, and the need to continue to practise forgiveness. The audience was also inspired by a sweet young singer from Masiphumelele, Anelisa Mahlungulu, who sang a fitting aria, O Mio Babbino Caro.

* * * * * * * *

Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:


Facebook gallery

Book details

Raymond Suttner to Present WiSER Seminar on "Nelson Mandela's Masculinities"

The ANC Underground in South AfricaRaymond Suttner, author of The ANC Underground in South Africa, is scheduled to present a seminar at Wits Institute for Social & Economic Research (WiSER).

Suttner’s paper is entitled “Nelson Mandela’s Masculinities”, and it will be delivered by the author on Monday, 11 August, at 3pm at Wits.

Participants must read the paper prior to the seminar, which will typically be available on the Friday preceding.

Event Details

Book Details

Bekendstelling van ’n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg deur Harry Kalmer by die Troyeville Hotel

’n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg: 'n StadsromanQueillerie en NB-Uitgewers nooi jou graag na die bekendstelling van Harry Kalmer se nuwe stadsroman, ’n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg.

Kalmer sal Maandag, 4 Augustus om 18:30 vir 19:00 met Willem Boshoff in gesprek tree by die Troyeville Hotel, Johannesburg.

Runaway Train Cult sal die vermaak verskaf en daar sal ‘n kontantkroeg beskikbaar wees.

Moet dit nie misloop nie!



Join Tim Noakes in "Fighting Fat with Fat" at the Sports Science Institute

Real Meal RevolutionThe South African Education Project (SAEP) invites you to a special fundraising event with Real Meal Revolution co-author Tim Noakes: “Fighting Fat with Fat”.

Cheese and wine will be sponsored by Fairview, which will also be launching its new full fat, high protein strained yoghurt.

Tickets are R150 – and going fast. All proceeds go to SAEP’s education and enrichment programmes for disadvantaged children.

Please join the South African Education Project (SAEP) for a special fundraising event featuring South Africa’s own Banting revolutionary, globally acclaimed Professor Tim Noakes. Co-author of The Real Meal Revolution, Tim Noakes’ life-changing eating plan has swept the nation, causing bacon and high-fat yoghurt shortages in supermarkets across the country.

Event Details

  • Date: Monday, 18 August 2014
  • Time: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Venue: Sports Science Institute
    Boundary Road
    Western Cape
    South Africa | Map
  • Cost: R150

Book Details

Alex Smith's Devilskein & Dearlove Launched at The Book Lounge with Verushka Louw

Alex Smith

On what must arguably have been the wildest, wettest night of the Cape of Storms’ winter, a gathering of devoted Alex Smith fans gathered at the Book Lounge for the launch of Devilskein and Dearlove.

Keys and doors, secret gardens that exist deep in a block of Long Street flats, and French poodles that speak Polish and Mandarin … No topic was ordinary. No character predictable. This is what the audience who came to celebrate with Smith heard – and relished!

Devilskein and DearloveThe multi-talented author, who has a travel memoir under her belt, two adult novels, and now, a second YA novel to her credit, chatted to The Book Lounge‘s YA and children’s literature specialist, Verushka Louw.

The bookseller said Devilskein & Dearlove is amazing, praising the finely wrought development of the book’s main characters, Erin, aged 13, and Albertus who is more than a thousand years old. “There’s a thing in Alex’s head that makes magic. And she knows how to write it down.”

Louw said that the book is a magical, fantastical story set in Cape Town that never allows the reader to forget that daft things happen. Smith spoke about the importance of not forgetting, and of retaining balance: “Nothing is all good or all bad. I try to keep that going throughout the story.”

“There is Erin’s version of what happens and the reader’s perception as he or she reads between the lines. Erin’s aunt explains things after talking to a psychiatrist friend. Although the young teen has created an altered reality to feel safe in the world, there is only so much make believe, so much that can be ascribed to psychological disturbance.”

Louw spoke enthusiastically about the guessing game that the reader inevitably plays with themselves as they makes their way through this lively, powerful read.

Smith read a few enchanting extracts from Devilskein & Dearlove, including a spectacular passage describing an underwater scene. The research for this scene took her to Miller’s Landing, where she enjoyed the experience of snorkelling.

Louw gestured up the stairs, at the sound of the rain pummelling against the wooden doors. She said, “I was afraid that nobody would come tonight when the rain was lashing down at the horizontal. But this book is about Cape Town. I knew that true Capetonians would not be deterred by a little wetness. Devilskein & Dearlove is simultaneously about the city, and about how we find ways to overcome the impossible things that we face everyday, wherever we live.”

* * * * * * * *

Liesl Jobson (@LieslJobson) tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:

Facebook gallery

Book details

Zapiro to Launch DemoCrazy: SA's Twenty-Year Trip at Constitutional Hill

DemoCrazy: SA's Twenty-Year TripJacana Media invites you to join them for another launch of Zapiro’s latest book, DemoCrazy: SA’s Twenty-Year Trip.

The event takes place at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg and starts at 6 PM for 6:30 PM.

See you there!
Event Details

Book Details